Varanasi (UP): The Supreme Court on Thursday adjourned the hearing in the Gyanvapi mosque matter till Friday, May 20. It asked the Varanasi court to not proceed with the trial today as the plaintiffs requested more time.
A court-appointed commission that was asked to conduct a survey of the Kashi Vishwanath temple-Gyanvapi mosque complex, filed a sealed report in a Varanasi court on Wednesday. Special Advocate Commissioner Vishal Singh also submitted three boxes, each containing video recordings from the separate days of the survey — May 14, 15, and 16.
A chip with videos and photographs of the filming was also handed over, Vishal Singh, the court-appointed commissioner, told NDTV.
The Supreme Court said it would take up the case tomorrow after the lawyers for the Hindu petitioners asked for an adjournment.
The Varanasi court is hearing a petition by five Hindu women who have requested access to the Gyanvapi mosque complex - located next to the iconic Kashi Vishwanath temple - to worship idols on its outer walls.
One of the lawyers involved in the filming at the mosque has claimed that a "Shivling" was found inside a pond traditionally used for "Wazoo" or Islamic purification rituals before namaaz.
The Supreme Court has ordered that if there are claims of a "Shivling" found in the complex, the area should be protected but Muslims must not be stopped from praying at the mosque.
A top official leading the filming, Advocate Commissioner Ajay Pratap Singh, said he stayed up all night to prepare the report, including videos and pictures from inside the mosque, even the basement.
"The court had given us a big responsibility and we conducted the survey honestly in the sweltering heat, even in dirty basements. We took all parties along, the petitioners and mosque representatives so that there's no question of impropriety," he said.
The court will hear a petition by three of the original petitioners asking for the removal of debris gathered against the mosque wall facing a Nandi idol at the Kashi Viswanath temple, to access and film more areas to establish what they believe are parts of a temple.
The Varanasi court on Tuesday sacked Ajay Mishra, who was leading the filming, over leaks from the report, allegedly by a "personal cameraperson" he had hired. Vishal Singh, a member of the team, was appointed in his place.